Surrey batted throughout the entirety of the first day of their three-day pre-season friendly at The Kia Oval with Middlesex, ending on 358/9.
England batsman Ollie Pope was the star of the day, making 123 in his first innings in the Three Feathers since September 2019. He spent much of the day alongside Jamie Smith, who himself made 84.
13 players were named in the Surrey side for the weekend, with spinners Daniel Moriarty & Amar Virdi to skip their innings.
Surrey sailed through the first hour of the day with Rory Burns & Mark Stoneman fending off Middlesex’s seam attack. The pair of left handers made it to 62/0 before Burns was the first to go, edging James Harris behind for 33.
Hashim Amla, fresh from self isolation having arrived in London last week, played a couple of delightful shots before he was trapped in front of his stumps by one-time England man Toby Roland-Jones for 8.
Having played excellently for his 36, Stoneman followed in Roland-Jones’ next over caught in the slips. That excellent first hour for Surrey was a distant memory when the final ball of the session ended the stay of Ben Foakes, trapped lbw by Harris, and left Surrey on 105/4.
Academy graduates Pope & Smith took the reins in the afternoon session and as the sun emerged through the clouds, these young players settled in. They batted throughout the session, reaching 209/4 and 71 and 41 not out respectively.
Smith went to his own half-century then Pope to three figures during the final session, reprising something like their memorable partnership of 251 from 2019’s Champion County match with the MCC in Dubai.
Pope’s long stay of 123 runs and 162 balls was finally ended in bizarre circumstances when he edged Nick Gubbins on to his own pad, forcing the ball to roll back and dislodge his bails. Jordan Clark came and went, edging seamer Andersson to first slip without scoring.
With the light fading, Smith took an aggressive approach reaching the boundary several times before holing out to deep mid wicket for an excellently constructed 84. Liam Plunkett arrived with a similar mentality, hammering a four before he was caught by a retreating Tim Murtagh at mid off.
The day ended with an impressive flurry from Jamie Overton, striking a number of boundaries off both spinners Gubbins & Sam Robson before succumbing from the final ball for 32. The match will continue with 90 overs on Saturday & Sunday.